I have been running a side system as a file server with Arch for a while now. But I have decided to convert my main system from windows to Arch. Less games, less distraction, more school.
Anyway, what is the most efficient way to save my data hd? I don't want to lose my mp3s, papers, pics, or videos. The drive is formatted w/ NTFS. Can I just install Arch to the root partition and be able to transfer the data over? Or will it be more complicated and involve Samba?
Any help is appreciated.
What's your HD and partition setup now, and what do you want it to be afterward?
If you want to repartition your drive, and there's data on it you want to keep, you need either another disc to temporarily dump the data on, or you can burn it all to dvd/cds.
There is kernel support for reading NTFS in the kernel (and write support, but I wouldn't trust it, but then again, you shouldn't need it) so you can just copy your data over without any problems if you choose to leave your windows partition sitting there.
The plan was to wipe the root NTFS partition with windows installed. Then copy the data from my data NTFS partition to an ext2 or 3, can't remember, that I already have. The format the former NTFS partition to ext3. I was curious if I needed to take any special steps, or will arch be able to recognize the data NTFS partition automatically. Allowing me just to copy the data off.
linux can read NTFS perfectly fine, it just can't write to the disk.
fortunately for you, you have multiple partitions on your drive. for those who are unfortunate enough to be stuck with a single partition, a tool exists for changing the size of an NTFS filesystem, named ntfsresize. i'll mention it here for future reference of other arch users.
you can find ntfsresize on many LiveCDs, such as RIP. After changing the filesystem size, you can use cfdisk or a similar partitioning tool to resize the partition to match. Usually this means "deleting" the partition and making a new one. Please remember that deleting a partition doesn't delete data, so it's all still safe. Just make sure you make your partition the same or slightly greater size than the filesystem.
If you are running a file server can't you copy all your data there, then verify it is correct and then that leaves you a machine with which you can do anything.
Thanks for all the help.